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Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast – A Free Sample Sneak Peek!!! Part 2 November 11, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
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Here’s Part Two of the sneak peek PDF for my new novel, Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast.

It’ll be available later this week on Amazon, in both paperback and electronic form!

Once it’s up on there, it will surely have a “Look Inside!” button for sneak previews, but in the meantime, these PDFs that will take you into Chapter 3 will suffice. And don’t call me Shirley.

Click Here For “Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast” Sneak Peek Part Two!

and in case you missed it,

Click Here For “Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast” Sneak Peek Part One!!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the story of a too-smart little girl and her too-clever little brother who have to become time travelers in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

The entire timeline of culinary history has gone wrong, and everyone is eating garbage for breakfast. History must be put right, and Phigg & Clyde are the only ones who can do it, since their Timekeeper Uncle has been kidnapped.

Well, they can do it once they learn how to be Timekeepers. And certainly, the forces of EVIL behind these diabolical changes in the breakfast timeline will surely try to stop them…. or worse.

Historic recipes included so that you can taste along!

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Feeling Out Of Step With The Universe, Part Infinity Plus One November 10, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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So while tooling around this afternoon running a few errands and browsing some dumpy thrift stores and goofing off, I found myself in Old Town Newhall walking main street.

Air smelled smokey from that God-awful fire out in Malibu/Thousand Oaks. Thankfully not smoky outside my house when I got home.

Anyway, I’m walking down Main Street looking around and noting the western movie star names they have on the sidewalks as their own li’l walk of fame (Clint Walker, HELL YEAH!) and then I noticed something.

Rather crowded place – lots of people walking around, too.

But they weren’t taking in the sights or enjoying the day.

Everyone walked around staring into their phone.

EVERY. GOD. DAMN. ONE.

First it made me nervous – were they all keeping up-to-date on some vital news item? Was the smoke I smelled from some god damn NEW fire nearby?

Everyone regardless of age walked staring into their phone. The only other person besides me who didn’t was some tall dude with a shirt that simply read, appropriately, “Old School.”

Some of ’em chatted with each other inbetween looking back and forth at their phones. There seemed to be somewhat organized groups of people, but all fixated on their damn phones.

I finally broke my shyness and asked some guy – “Why are you all on the phone?”

“Pokémon,” he answered.

It’s times like this that I no longer wish to be part of the human race.

And here’s the soundtrack:

 

I’ll post the 2nd installment of Phigg & Clyde tomorrow. Barring any unforseen circumstance, the book drops on November 14 on Amazon! Maybe if people read it & enjoy it, I’ll want to rejoin humanity. But the jury is still out.

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast: A Free Sample Sneak Peek!!! (Part 1) November 7, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
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Available very soon on Amazon – here’s part one of a two-part sneak peak at my new book, Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast.

Click on the link below to download a sample 33 page PDF of the Prologue, Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 2!

Click Here To Get Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast – Sample Part One!

Enjoy!

I’ll post Part 2 of the sneak peek by the weekend!

 

At Long Last…. The Holy Grail Of Horse Betting Has Been Attained! November 5, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Horse Racing.
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I don’t bet horse races as often as I used to. I’ve been a good boy and have spent more time trying to write & actually be productive in my off hours and especially over the summer.

It’d been a long while since I’d handicapped a race card and spent an afternoon watching Santa Anita. But the closing day of the fall meet came along Sunday, along with a mandatory pay-out of a rather large Rainbow Pick 6 jackpot.

I’ve come close to winning a Pick 6 jackpot a few times… got 5 out of 6 for the consolation pool three different times. One time I’d nailed the Pick 6 on paper in my handicapping but hadn’t bet it.

I’ve gotten trifectas, superfectas, pick 3s, pick 4s, and a couple of pick 5s…. but never a pick 6…

UNTIL SUNDAY!!!!

I got the Pick 6, which due to a large number of favorites and a twenty cent betting amount instead of the usual $2 paid less than most jackpots…

BUT I STILL GOT IT!

Felt great watching every race in the sequence, too… watching my picks either leading or coming from behind, even to beat other selections of mine. I tripled the opener since it had a lot of new runners, and doubled all the rest for a bet of $19.20. I threw in a matching pick 4 for $8.

So for $27.20, I won about $750!

HELL YEAH!

I’ll leave it in the account and use it to bet races for the next several years. There’s absolutely no reason to stop being cheap.

But picking 6 races in a row for essentially a 35-1 bet makes me feel like a genius. I’ll just kick back and savor that.

 

My Official Author’s Portrait November 4, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, General, Writing.
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I think it captures my essence, don’t you?

This is my bio blurb pic for the interior of Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast, coming very soon from yours truly over on Amazon.

Watch this space during this week for some previews & PDFs of a chapter or two!!

And FYI: That mug will contain tea FAR more often than coffee, and NOT catnip tea either.

Perhaps dressing up the cat in a beat-up old suit and fedora & changing the mug to a half empty whiskey bottle may go well with the Professor Wagstaff series. We’ll see.

Art by Elinor Shapiro.

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast: The Back Cover November 1, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
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You’ve seen the front cover, here’s the back.

Art by Elinor Shapiro, copy by yours truly.

Phigg (short for Iphigenia) and Clyde are sister and brother. She loves to solve puzzles, and he loves to build and fix things. Their Uncle Phineas looks after them while their professor parents are out of town, but…

…. Uncle Phineas vanishes! And then it turns out that he is a Timekeeper – a guardian of history who maintains the historic timelines in case things go wrong.

Clearly whoever kidnapped him must be bent on altering all of time!

They must have done something… because now people eat breakfast at night, and they’re eating fish heads, soup bones and clam juice.

Yum!

Phigg & Clyde better rescue Uncle Phineas and put things right again….

Coming soon!

And my next Phigg & Clyde posts will have some chapter samples to whet your appetite, as well as more of Elinor’s art from the interior.

Stay tuned!

 

Announcing A New Book Series! Phigg & Clyde Are On The Way! October 30, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
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The first entry in my new young adult (of all ages, really) light adventure scifi series will be available on Amazon and elsewhere in early November!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the story of a too-smart little girl and her too-clever little brother who have to become time travelers in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

The entire timeline of culinary history has gone wrong, and everyone is eating garbage for breakfast. History must be put right, and Phigg & Clyde are the only ones who can do it, since their Timekeeper Uncle has been kidnapped.

Well, they can do it once they learn how to be Timekeepers. And certainly, the forces of EVIL behind these diabolical changes in the breakfast timeline will surely try to stop them…. or worse.

Historic recipes included so that you can taste along!

Yes, this is the actual “kid’s book” oft referred to in both Wagstaff mysteries. I wrote it some time ago and unfortunately subjected it to Hollywood Hell™ before doing a revision and getting some new illustrations done for this new 2018 edition.

I’ll add blog entries until its release  – so watch this space for sample chapters, examples of the wonderful illustrations by Elinor Shapiro, recipes and other stuff!

It’ll be both in paperback & an e-book for the Kindle & tablets. Early November is not far away!

I Dream About The Wrong Things, Part Infinity October 28, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Terry in his “I played the Creature in Rocky Horror!” years

Last night, I dreamed that Terry Bradshaw was jealous of my hair. He shrugged and said he guessed he didn’t get the right genes since he went bald so young. I told him he certainly got the right football genes, but he didn’t seem to care and walked away with a a pout.

There was nothing I could do to cheer him up.

THE BURDENS I CARRY, PEOPLE!!!!

Some quick picks under the wire:

I’ll go with the Browns plus the 8 points against Bradshaw’s old Steelers, the Lions to cover 3 over the Seahawks, the Colts to cover 3 against the pathetic Raiders, and in the pick-o-the-week, I’ll take the Redskins to cover a mere 1 1/2 over the also pathetic Giants. Spreads like that one make me suspicious, like the oddsmakers know something I don’t – why are the Giants only 1 1/2 point underdogs?? Are they allowed to hand the ball to a Mack truck on 3rd down to even things up this week? Dunno, but it looks like easy money to me.

And I’ve got the hair to prove it.

 

Sometimes Messages From God Are Quite Obvious October 27, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats.
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Screengrabbed this from my facebook feed just now.

I think the Jungian synchronicity is clear.  I still love the furry little demons and always will, but I know the score…

Baseball Card Of The Day: 1952 Duke Snider October 24, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball, Baseball Cards.
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How ’bout a story?

When I was a kid collecting baseball cards, before the friggin’ boomers destroyed the hobby by bidding up the prices of various cards beyond belief by the 1980s, it was often possible to search out & find classic old cards of great stars and legends at affordable prices, or amazingly cheap prices.

One day at an antique show my mom got interested in at the ol’ Midland Mall in Rhode Island, turned out one guy had a small box of several dozen absolute MINT condition 1952 Topps baseball cards.

4 for a dollar.

Yeah, I know – where’s Biff Tannen to come back in a Delorean and tell 1972 me that I should buy the entire box? It’s the first real Topps set, amazingly in demand, where mint condition cards are extremely rare and pricey. The Mickey Mantle rookie in set sells for multiple thousands of dollars.

Believe me, I combed the box for Yankees. The only one was Hank Bauer, but it, along with more stellar names – Bob Feller, Gil Hodges and Duke Snider rounded out my dollar’s worth.

These were immediate status symbols amongst the neighborhood friends who collected and traded cards with me. They were older, I’d gotten lots of cards from them from before my time, mostly commons but some star players in there, here and there, depending on what I’d traded away for ’em.

I got repeatedly badgered by one guy for one of the 1952s… haggling went back and forth, and in what seemed like a good deal in 1972, I traded the Duke Snider for a ’64 Koufax, Drysdale, and Tony Kubek, to get a Yankee in there.

I like having the Drysdale and Koufax cards…. to this day, they’re the only cards of either of those guys in my collection, I think… but over the years, parting with that mint Duke Snider has always haunted me. And I did NOT want to pay anywhere from the $300 -$2000 I’d seen the near mint to mints go for to get it back in that condition.

BUT – we have a happy ending to this tale. Recently on ebay, I found one in decent enough condition, not mint, but an undergraded good to very good one – no creases or marks or pinholes, only some corner wear visible on the front and not quite-perfect centering. And it fit right into the “I think I’ll buy myself a birthday present a month early” category at fifty bucks.

I spent nearly as much on sushi the other night, I figured. (All you can eat, too!)

Should I fixate on my memory of leaving the Warren Spahn and Richie Ashburn cards behind to take the Bauer back in ’72 and spring for those on ebay? Well, maybe next birthday. By then, maybe I can skip enough sushi to save up, who knows?